There aren’t many college wrestling teams hotter than the Drexel Dragons, a squad that has won eight straight matches.
The Dragons began their winning streak on Dec. 20 and haven’t lost since, scrapping their way to a No. 19-ranking in the NWCA Mid-Major Top 20. Of course, there have been two big contributors to Drexel’s success: Former Chambersburg standouts Luke and Tate Nichter.
The brothers are regulars in the Dragons lineup and have combined for 20 wins this season. In College Corner this week, we’ll take a closer look at their seasons, as well as take a deep dive into other winter sports with ex-Trojans in the lineup, including swimming, basketball, indoor track and field, and gymnastics.
In the weeks to come, we’ll examine how college sports are going for athletes from Waynesboro and Greencastle before rotating back to Chambersburg. Additions for College Corner can be sent to Andy Sandrik via email at [email protected].
Luke Nichter, Junior, Drexel
With Nichter in the lineup as Drexel’s everday starter at 149 pounds, the Dragons have won eight straight duals.
Nichter, who is 11-4 this season, has won three of his last four bouts. On Jan. 28 in a 31-6 win over Brown, Nichter recorded an 8-4 decision over Blake Saito. He took an 18-6 loss to Evan Magg in Drexel’s 28-13 win over George Mason on Feb. 4, but rebounded on the same day with a 5-2 decision over Drew Witham in his team’s 31-6 victory over LIU.
Nichter, the No. 24-ranked wrestler at 149, most recently wrestled on Feb. 5, delivering a crucial 11-0 major decision over Michael Leandrou to lead his team to a 19-16 victory over Hofstra.
Drexel (9-4, 6-0 EIWA) will look to win its ninth straight match on Sunday, when it plays host to Army.
Tate Nichter, R-Freshman, Drexel
A 157-pounder, Nichter has seen 19 bouts of action for the Dragons this season.
On Jan. 28 in a 31-6 win over Brown, Nichter took a 4-2 loss to Samuel McMonagle. He appeared again in a 31-6 win over LIU on Feb. 4, falling 2-1 to Rhise Royster.
Nichter is 9-10 this season.
Avery Barley, Junior, Messiah
Barley has been quite the weapon for Messiah this season, as he is the team’s top swimmer in all three backstroke events and the 200 IM, while also ranking second on the Falcons in the 50 butterfly and 400 IM.
He is looking to recapture the magic he found as a freshman in the 2019-20 season, when he was named the MAC Rookie of the Year while setting program records in the 100 butterfly (49.61), 100 backstroke (49.80), and 200 backstroke (1:50.42).
The season has been going according to plan and Barley has been heating up in recent meets. On Jan. 21 in a quad-meet with York, Stevens, and Stevenson, Barley led his 200 medley relay squad to victory in 1:38.66 while also taking third in the 200 backstroke (2:02.55) and fourth in the 200 IM (4:29.21).
One week later in a tri-meet with Misericordia and Albright on Jan. 28, Barley put together a three-win performance, taking victory in the 50 backstroke (24.80) and 100 backstroke (55.08), while also leading the 400 medley relay squad to a first-place finish in 3:37.50. Barley also competed in the 50 butterfly, taking second in 24.44.
Barley and Messiah (10-2) return to the pool this weekend for the MAC Championships.
Breanna Kratz, Senior, Immaculata
With the conference meet quickly approaching, Kratz recently swam her final home meet for Immaculata.
Competing for the Mighty Macs on Senior Day in a 113-71 loss to Cabrini on Jan. 28, Kratz logged finishes in three events, placing third in the 200 freestyle relay (2:05.84), fourth in the 200 freestyle (2:45.38), and sixth in the 100 freestyle (1:17.19).
Immaculata (2-9, 1-5 AEC) kicks off its postseason on Friday at the AEC Conference Championships.
Audrey Kough, Freshman, Washington & Jefferson
It’s been an active season for Kough, a freestyle/backstroke specialist for the Presidents.
Washington & Jefferson (2-9, 1-5 PAC) recently competed in two meets, with Kough factoring into both. On Jan. 14 in a tri-meet that saw the Presidents fall to both Franciscan (139-83) and Hiram (130-101), Kough logged a third-place finish in the 400 freestyle (5:49.62), while also finishing fifth in the 50 freestyle (35.21) and sixth in the 100 backstroke (1:31.60).
One week later, in a 139-45 loss to Grove City on Jan. 21, Kough led two relay teams to runner-up finishes. Competing as the anchor leg for the 200 medley relay, the team finished second in 2:08.47. With Kough serving as the second leg for the 200 freestyle relay, the team earned a runner-up finish in 1:57.61. Kough also swam two individual events, placing third in the 100 backstroke (1:18.83) and fourth in the 200 backstroke (2:50.73).
Kough and the Presidents return to the pool on Feb. 15-18 for the PAC Championships.
Emilea Alleman, Freshman, Shippensburg
Following a successful cross country season for the Raiders, Alleman has stepped into her first season of collegiate indoor track.
In her first meet, the Gulden Invitational on Jan. 21, Alleman competed in the 3,000 and finished in 11:33.37 for 11th place.
Alleman is coming off a busy fall, where she competed in seven races for Shippensburg, culminating in a trip to the NCAA Division II Atlantic Region Championships on Nov. 19.
Alleman, an Exercise Science Major, and the Raiders are scheduled to compete in two invites this weekend: The Hemery Valentine Invitational and the Alvernia Invitational.
Livi Rieck, Freshman, Shippensburg
Rieck, a distance specialist, is rapidly moving up the running ladder for the Raiders.
Competing in her first collegiate indoor track meet on Jan. 21, Rieck landed a podium finish, placing third in the 3,000 with a time of 10:51.
Rieck, a Business Administration Major, was one of the top runners for Shippensburg’s cross country squad this fall. She ran a full schedule of races, saving her best for last, a 6K PR of 22:51 at the NCAA Division II Atlantic Region Championships on Nov. 19, an effort that earned her 20th place.
Brooke Richards, Freshman, Ursinus
Richards is settling into her role as a distance specialist for the Bears.
She’s competed in three indoor meets for Ursinus this winter: The Bow Tie Invitational on Dec. 9, the Collegeville Classic on Jan. 21, and the Mini-Dip Invitational on Jan. 27.
At the Bow Tie, she completed the 5,000 in 22:33 for 11th place, before running the 3,000 in 13:02 for sixth place at Collegeville. Finally, competing in the mile at the Mini-Dip Invite, Richards ran to a 32nd-place finish in 6:45.
Richards warmed up for this season by running four races for the cross country squad in the fall, landing PRs in both the 5K (23:06) and 6K (28:11).
Ursinus returns to competition on Friday at the David Hemery Invitational.
Jillian Cook, Freshman, Stockton
Cook is listed as a hurdler on the Stockton roster, but she’s also done her fair share of sprinting for the Ospreys.
Competing at the TCNJ Lions Indoor Invitational on Jan. 14, Cook landed PR times in both the 60 (9.11) and 200 (30.10). One week later, at the Ramapo College Opener on Jan. 20, she completed the 400 in 1:08, another PR.
Cook finally got to run some hurdles at the Seamus McElligot Invitational on Jan. 28. Competing in the 60 hurdles, she ran to a sixth-place finish with a PR time of 11.32. Cook also ran the 200 (30.89), while leading Stockton’s 4×200 squad to a runner-up finish in 1:51.
The Ospreys return to action on Saturday at the Big Apple Invitational.
Ben Colli, Freshman, Duquesne
Colli has been active for Duquesne all winter competing in the mile and 4×400.
He made his collegiate indoor debut at the YSU Indoor Invite on Jan. 20, finishing 23rd in 4×400 (3:43) and 37th in the mile (4:33). One week later at the YSU Mid-Major Invitational on Jan. 27-28, Colli finished 21st in the 4×400 (3:40) and 41st in the mile (4:37).
Finally on Feb. 3-4 at the Akron Invitational, Colli landed a pair of Top 10 finishes. First, he led his 4×400 squad to a fourth-place finish in 3:44, while also taking 10th in the mile with a PR time of 4:31.
Colli is coming off an active cross country season, where he logged a 6K PR of 21:44.
Karter Reath, Freshman, Geneva
Reath is showcasing plenty of running potential in his first season competing for the Golden Tornadoes.
He’s run in three meets in 2023, logging PRs almost every step of the way. We’ll start with the Muskie Meet on Jan. 14, where Reath posted a PR time of 2:19 in the 800 for 11th place. He also completed the mile in 4:49 for 10th place.
One week later at the YSU Indoor Invitational on Jan. 20, Reath ran to a mile finish in 4:47.
Reath then nailed down two more PRs at the YSU Mid-Major Invitational on Jan. 27-28, completing the 1,000 in 2:51 and the mile in 4:43.
Reath is coming off a solid cross country season, where he posted an 8K PR of 27:30.
Geneva returns to competition on Friday at the NCCAA Indoor Championships.
Bre’Ya Clopper, Junior, Wheeling Jesuit
It’s been a big year so for Clopper, who has been hitting PR after PR this winter.
We’ll begin at SPIRE Midwest Open on Jan. 21, where Clopper hit a PR in the 200, running to a 36th-place finish in 28.35. She also competed in the 60 hurdles, running for a time of 9.55 to place seventh.
One week later at the YSU Mid-Major Invitational on Jan. 27-28, Clopper pushed forward with finishes in the 60 hurdles (9.64) and 400 (1:07.57).
Clopper then turned on the jets for her fastest outing of the winter at the Ashland-Jud Logan Light Giver Open on Feb. 3-4. She placed 10th in the 60 hurdles with a PR time of 9.42, before landing another PR with a time of 1:07.39 in the 400, good enough for 47th place.
Clopper will put her skills to the test when Wheeling Jesuit travels to compete in the D2 Pre-Nationals Meet.
Alyssa Scalia, Junior, Seton Hill
Scalia, a thrower, is in the midst of her second full indoor season with a focus on the weight throw.
Her best throw of the season came at the Tiffin Open on Dec. 9, where she connected for a throw of 28-5. Following a no-mark at the Comets Opener on Jan. 14, Scalia bounced back a week later with a 26-2.25 at the SPIRE Midwest Open on Jan. 21. She improved upon that mark with a 26-5.75 at the YSU Mid-Major Invitational on Jan. 27-28.
Scalia is chasing her PR of 33-4.5, which was established last winter.
Seton Hill is back in action this weekend at the Ocean Breeze Invite in Staten Island, N.Y.
Tyler Collier, Junior, Flagler
Collier has established himself as a regular in the Saints lineup, appearing in all 23 games and making five starts.
The 6-foot-8, 240-pound forward has produced 151 points (6.6 ppg), including 12 three-pointers, as well as 102 rebounds (4.4 rpg), 47 assists, three steals, and three blocks.
Collier has hit double-digit scoring six times this season, and went off for a season-high 17 points on Dec. 18 in an 84-81 loss to Tampa.
Collier and Flagler (11-12, 5-7 PBC) return to action on Saturday with a home game against USC Aiken.
Ty Holsopple, Junior, Shippensburg
Holsopple, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound forward, has appeared in seven of 22 games for the Raiders this winter.
In 39 minutes of action, he has logged 11 points, 12 rebounds, one assist, and three steals. He recently had his longest outing of the season, appearing for 10 minutes in a 65-52 loss to East Stroudsburg on Feb. 4. In that game, he recorded four points, three rebounds, and one steal.
Holsopple, an Exercise Science Major (Human Performance & Fitness), and the Raiders (14-8, 12-4 PSAC) return to action on Saturday with a road game at Mansfield.
Eli Shearer, Freshman, Mansfield
Shearer, a 6-foot-3 guard, is making the most of his limited playing opportunities for the Mounties.
Shearer has appeared in eight games this season, totaling 17 points, including two three-pointers, to go along with eight rebounds, three assists, and four steals.
He most recently took the floor for Mansfield in a 95-70 loss to East Stroudsburg on Feb. 1, racking up four points and three rebounds in just four minutes of work.
The Mounties (5-15, 4-12 PSAC) return to the court on Saturday for a home game against Shippensburg.
Allie List, Freshman, St. John Fisher
For being a first-year college player on a top-tier team, List is getting a fair amount of playing time for the Cardinals.
List, a 5-foot-10 guard, has appeared in 15 games for St. John Fisher, a team that is 20-2 overall and top dog in the Empire 8 Conference at 15-0.
In 60 minutes on the floor, List has totaled six points, including one three-pointer, along with eight rebounds, three steals, and two assists. She recently inked her name into the scorebook with three points in a 106-29 win over Keuka on Jan. 31.
List and the Cardinals will go for their 17th-straight win on Saturday, when they travel to face Nazareth.
Morgan Bopp, Freshman, Frostburg State
Bopp is eager to kick off her first season for Frostburg State in the top/tumbler positions.
An Exercise and Sports Science Major, Bopp will lead the Bobcats into action for the season opener on Feb. 18 at home against King (Tenn.).